“Venture capital should come with a warning label. In our experience, VC kills more startups than slow customer adoption, technical debt, and co-founder infighting — combined.” - Eric Paley, Managing Partner at Founder Collective
In 2018, nearly 8,400 venture-backed companies raised more than $130 billion in financing, ($47B more than 2017). With the pool of venture money increasing, venture capital seems to have become the default path for startups.
But many investors and founders advise you should build your business without venture capital if you can. They warn that the VC path intensifies both success and failures, accelerating you into an outcome of acquisition/IPO (in rare cases) or bust (more typical).
So what other options are there for entrepreneurs seeking capital? In recent years we’ve seen a rise in crowdfunding, financing firms that provide capital based on cash-flow, accelerator programs, and grant initiatives - showing that there are many options outside of venture capital.
We’re highlighting founders that have found alternatives to venture capital (or avoided it entirely) to discuss
Alternatives they found to venture capital
Their experience fundraising
Advice for entrepreneurs considering venture capital, and for those avoiding it
How they developed their product and grew their company
About the panelists
Frank Denbow, Startup Advocate at Microsoft, Founder of Inflection - Frank Denbow is currently a Startup Advocate at Microsoft, helping support the startup community in NYC. He is also the founder of INK’A, a platform for producing top quality custom apparel for companies and influencers. Frank has bootstrapped INK’A into millions in revenue and enjoys supporting other entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem. Frank has held leadership positions in community organizations such as Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, & Coalition for Queens / Pursuit, helping connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need. Out of this desire, he created INFLECTION, a community for profitable companies.
Morgan Hirsh, Founder & CEO of Public Goods - Morgan is the Founder & CEO of Public Goods, a company providing affordable personal care, household goods, and food without markups. Morgan studied philosophy at Concordia, and worked in luxury fashion manufacturing before founding Public Goods. With an aesthetic eye and nose for quality, he’s an expert product developer who’s grounded in the nitty gritty of manufacturing. Public Goods is a 500 Startups alumni - and also raised more than $1.5 million on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo.
6:30 - 6:50: Drinks & Networking
6:50 - 7:50: Panel
7:50 - 8:15: Audience Q&A
8:15 - 9:00: More Drinks & Networking